Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 2009 - It takes a village

Tonight my family and I are starting a new tradition.

Much like at Thanksgiving, when families sit around the table and state what they are thankful for, tonight we are going to write down our goals for 2010 and commit to supporting each other and reinforcing achieving those goals.

The mob mentality will help us actually follow through.

In fact, helping my family's goals come to fruition will be just as satisfying for me as achieving my own.

So, get some support and publicly declare what you want to strive for in 2010.

It takes a village sometimes ...


And a have a safe and Happy New Year!

(photo from:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christina Cosmetics Aromatherapy Mineral Mist

We're almost into January, which inevitably brings even colder weather and with it even dryer, flakier skin.

Besides drinking more water, taking Omega 3's and adhering to a good skin care program, you can hydrate your face, neck and decollete throughout the day by spritzing on a topical mist like Christina Cosmetics Aromatherapy Mineral Mist.

Christina Cosmetics was kind enough to send me a bottle of the Mist to try and I am a convert. As you know from my previous post about their Perfect Pigment Mineral Make Up (, I am bananans about their four color palette foundation that replaces an entire case of make up.

The Aromatherapy Mineral Mist comes in a 4oz spray bottle and contains comforting herbs like lavender, comfrey, calendula and sage in a light moisturizing base of aloe and water.

Gentle enough for sensitive skin and light enough for oily complexions, applying it immediately after getting out of the shower BEFORE your moisturizer adds an extra shot of moisture into your skin. Then, spritz over your make up after application and throughout the day to maintain gorgeous, hydrated, glowing skin.

This product is a MUST HAVE for those who wear powder based mineral make up formulations. The mist infuses the powder and "sets" it, transforming any brand from cakey and dull to luminous, natural-looking and "glowy."

I also love to spritz it on first thing in the morning, to remove any "pillow creases" from my face and refresh my skin before my workout without a heavy, greasy moisturizer.

You can purchase Christina Cosmetic products here:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Damn HE looks good - Robert Downey, Jr

Saw Guy Ritchie's epic "Sherlock Holmes" last night.

Fantastic film, quirky score, fabulous cast and holy shirtless Robert Downey, Jr!!

In a classic Guy Ritchie brawl, we are treated to a ripped Downey, Jr. bare knuckle boxing. Wow. Man looks fierce. He looks incredibly competent and believable in the action scenes. A lean, sinewy powerhouse.

According to an article on Men's Fitness UK, "To get Robert Downey Jr in shape to play Sherlock Holmes we did high-volume, low-intensity workouts to build his cardio levels and muscle endurance,' says Robert Downey Jr's legendary American trainer Brad Bose. 'I didn't want him to get huge, but he needed to be fit enough to do his own stunts. To achieve this we used a machine called the Vortex Perfect Storm, a free-standing multi-gym that has loads of attachments for cables and resistance.

'We'd do intervals on the Perfect Storm, hitting his major muscle groups from loads of different angles, then finish up with a climb on a Jacob's Ladder – an inclined climbing treadmill – to improve his cardio,' says Bose."

Clearly, it worked for him.

As for diet ... the internet has been circulating stories that Downey, Jr. got a "parasite" from a restaurant in Japan, causing him to lose weight. He was motivated by the sudden weight loss to keep it up. Translation - the man ate less and worked out smart.

Check out links for the equipment Downey's trainer uses:

(picture from:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Recipe - Damn Good Veggie Soup

Soups are warm, comforting, filling meals chock full of vegetables and nutritional goodness to remind you how GOOD good food is for you!

Make this soup to start getting you on track for clean eating or to delishly supplement an already dazzling diet.

Ingredients - use organic whenever possible:
2 "boxes" vegetable broth
1- yellow sweet onion
1 lb celery hearts
1 lb carrots
4 small zuchini
2 large leeks
2 medium sweet potatos
salt and pepper
1 large can stewed tomatoes
1 cup raw cashews
1 head dinosaur kale

1. Emtpy both containers of vegetable stock into a large soup pot.
2. Add filtered water to double amount of liquid.
3. Chop onion, celery, carrots, zuchini, leeks and sweet potato. Add to water.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste
5. Bring to a rolling boil. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
6. Check to make sure all veggies are soft.
7. Laddle about 1/3 of vegetables plus some broth into a blender or vitamix.
Blend until smooth.
Add back to soup pot and stir.
8. Add about 4 laddles of broth to blender or vitamix. Add can of stewed tomatos.
Blend until smooth.
Add back into pot and stir.
9. Add about 4 laddles of broth into blender or vitamix.
Add cashews.
Blend until smooth.
Add back into pot and stir.
10. Bring back to a low boil.
11. Chop kale and add to pot.
Turn off pot completely.
12. Cover and let sit for at least an hour before serving. Better yet - let it
sit overnight and serve the next day.

Serve hot with GG crackers for an extra fiberlicious meal!

(photo from:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Be sure to make time for YOU today.
Even in the hustle of busy family activities, it is important to take a moment to check in with yourself, take care of yourself and gift yourself the gift of good self care.

Take just five minutes to do a quick power workout of burpees, squats and pushups.
Or sit quietly and breathe for a holiday meditation.
Maybe take some extra time to pamper yourself in the shower or bath while getting ready for holiday activities.

If you are in check, then you can extend your wellness to those around you.

Have a wonderful day!!

(picture from:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Alright procrastinators ... here are some great last minute gift ideas for your fitness obsessed loved ones:

1. Anything from Free standard shipping (gift will be late - but, so what!!) plus the first 500 customers to order $150 or more will get a free travel hula hoop, DVD and carry strap!

2. Toiletries for the gym bag from
The online semi-anual sale starts today and on the 27th in stores!!

3. A fitness oriented magazine subscription from:

4. A fitness DVD from:

5. A gift card to Whole Foods

6. A gift card to a local yoga studio or gym

7. A pair of sneakers from:

8. Supplements from:

9. A container of Vega and a few of their Vibrance Bars from or purchased in store and arranged a gift basket!!

10. A private session with a local personal trainer, yoga teacher or pilates instructor.

(picture from:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Natural Deodorant Option

Hold your noses ... I haven't used a commercial deoderant/antiperspirant in about seven years.

Good hygiene, diet and keeping the body hair free helps to control natural body odor. But, for those of you who must put something under your arms to be "sure..."

Try using a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with a few drops of lavender oil.

I drop both oils into the palms of my hands, rub together and apply under my arms.

The tea tree oil is antiseptic while the lavender is soothing for the skin (bye bye razor bumps!)

I like using Dessert Essence 100% Tea Tree Oil ( and Aura Cacia Lavender Oil ( Cacia.

The combo of the oils creates a pleasing, comforting, clean scent that lasts all day.

Make up your own combination of scents and benefits that suits your needs.

Just try it!!

(picture from:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Victoria Beckham's Three Bite Rule

We are quickly approaching big holiday meal number two this weekend! (The first of which was Thanksgiving and the last will be New Year's Eve ...)

Hopefully, you've been staying fit and trim throughout the holiday season. This is always right around the time I start to lose my resolve a bit, indulging in Christmas cookies and too much champagne...

Well, fashionista, disciplined eater and devoted exerciser Victoria Beckham has a strategy to fend off holiday pounds without sacrificing your favorite foods or the social situations that go with them.

According to The Herald Sun (,) Ms. Beckham is going to indulge in holiday traditional meals, but will only take three bites of each item.

I love it. What a great way to exercise portion control while not missing out any of the fun!

And who really needs more than three bites of a single item when there are going to be endless dishes to sample?? The first bite is always the best, the second is almost as good and by the third bite ... you know it's not going to taste any different after that, so move on to the next food!

I'm going for it!

Will you??

(photo from:

Monday, December 21, 2009


The end of our European travels were met with almost a foot of snow piled up in our driveway. Yes, winter wonderland is pretty and appropriate for the time of year, but sometimes it makes you just want to hole up in the house and not go out!

That's how I was feeling yesterday morning ... but, I also wanted a change of pace from my usual solitary ashtanga yoga practice. I wanted a great yoga class without the hassle of leaving home.

So, I logged on to, signed up and received a free, 15 day trial of the online yoga class service.

Yogaglo is actually a yoga studio in Santa Monica, CA that has a live web feed of their classes. If you take class there ... the whole Internet can witness it! The camera is positioned in the back of the classroom, so you see the front of the teacher and the back of the students.

I was immediately impressed with the range of classes they offer. From Ashtanga "improv" to Anusara to Vinyasa , there is truly a style for every yogi of every level. You can search classes by style, level, duration, teacher or category -making Yogaglo user friendly.

I chose a level 3 vinyasa class taught by Jo Tastula from October 27, 2009. The class was 90 minutes of innovative, challenging poses linked together in a beautiful flow. There is actually music playing during the class as well, which I was impressed did not distract me from Jo's instruction. The playlist is listed on the right side of the screen as a bonus for Muso yogis!!

I felt like I was right there in the class and got a great workout. My abs and shoulders are talkin' to me today! YEAH! I also really enjoyed watching the students in the class and got some great ideas for modifications by observing them.

Yogaglo is only $18 a month after the 15 day trial. How can you beat that? Live yoga classes - including workshops and lectures from premiere instructors out of a beautiful Santa Monica, CA yoga studio cost at least that PER class in person!!

Give Yogaglo a shot today! It's a wonderful way to enrich your current yoga practice or workout regime from the comfort of your own home without any travel time, wasted gas or worry about what outfit to wear to class.

Log on here to start now:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oldie but, look damn goodie Sunday

Since I discovered Caudelie grape based skin care this week ... here is a reminder of the benefits of consuming seeded grapes:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Caudelie Premier Cru La Creme

After two weeks of traveling, including a final 48 hours of four flights ... my skin was dehydrated and looking way less than fabulous.

I stopped into the Scottsdale Fashion Square Sephora and was introduced to Caudelie Premier Cru La Creme.

I had been curious about Caudelie after reading an article about the brand.
Founded by a young couple and a Professor of Pharmacy, the line is based on the properties of grape seeds ... which, if you read this blog - you know I am obsessed with!

The line contains:
- no parabens
- a maximum of natural active ingredients
- NO animal testing or ingredients
- no mineral oils or colorings
- no sodium laureth sulfates

Check out their website for more info on their products:

I received a sample of their newest product, The Premier Cru La Creme from Sephora.
The gorgeous creme was explained to me as a fusion of their best products into one concentrated formula. The creme contains, "Caudalie's three signature patents: titrated Resveratrol and Viniferine from Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte grapevines, and grape-seed polyphenols." It claims, "It regenerates and redensifies skin, filling wrinkles, firming and lifting, and minimizing dark spots for an evenly luminous look." (Info from

After one application, I can attest to the power of this product. My skin immediately felt smoother and softer and I awoke this morning to a clearer, firmer, more radiant complexion.

You can purchase Premier Cru La Creme from Sephora or the Caudelie website:

Sephora and the Caudelie site also offer a limited edition cosmetic bag filled with must haves from the line, including a full size eye creme and lip conditioner:;jsessionid=3LWVDHPYYWDVECV0KQLQX0Q?id=P249307&categoryId=C10479

(picture from:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

20 min Multi Directional Treadmill Workout

Forget repetitive motion!

Try this routine on a treadmill for 360 degrees of fitness fun!

Warm up for 5 minutes with a fast walk

1. Jog 2 min 1% incline 6.0 - 8.0 mph

2. Turn right and side shuffle 1 min at 0% incline 4.0 - 4.5mph (slower if you need to at first)

3. Turn left and side shuffle 1 min at 0% incline 4.0 - 4.5 mph (slower if you need to at first)

4. Turn backwards and jog or walk back wards 1 min at 3.5 - 5.5 mph (hold onto rails if need be)

5. Turn forwards and begin jog interval (#1) again, then side shuffles and backwards.

Repeat the five intervals 4 times for a total of 20 min.

Cool down and stretch.

(picture from:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


How I love thee, yogurt.
How do I count the ways?
For your probiotic content?
Your clean source of protein?
Your tangy, sour taste?

Yogurt is a power food if there ever was one.

Throughout my European travels ... that took me from the UK to Holland to Germany and finally to Sweden, yogurt was the star of every breakfast spread.

Served with muesli and fruit you've got a powerhouse meal complete with all of your macronutrients.

Try this combo for a sure fire positive start to your day:

1/4 to 1/2 cup of Familila No Sugar Muesli (buy here: )

1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries

3/4 - 1 cup non fat plain greek yogurt

1 packet of Stevia

Mix or layer all ingredients and enjoy

(picture from:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Better Bodies - Swedish Active Wear

I'm in Vasteras, Sweden today ... last day of my European adventure.

While out shopping during a snow storm, I stumbled upon a boutique gym that sold Better Bodies Activewear.

Hip, sexy and body conscious - this is a line I would totally wear every day, both to the gym and around town.

I especially like the Cherry Hill Jazzpant pictured above.

Check out their website:
Be sure to peruse their "athletes" page for some motivation to eat clean and workout.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nautilus TreadClimber

I'm in Gothenburg, Sweden today.

Went to an excellent gym this morning ... World Class.

To my delight, they had two commercial Nautilus TreadClimber TC916's in their cardio area.

I know these have been hocked on TV for a while, but this was my first chance to actually use one. I was seriously considering buying a home version for quite some time, but the price point kept me from taking the plunge. So, today I got my chance to a test run - as I have not seen the commercial version in any of the clubs I have visited in the states.

The TreadClimber is a hybrid of a stair stepper, a treadmill and an elliptical trainer. It looks like a treadmill with a split platform. The "treadles" move independently up and down while the belt moves at your selected speed.

I spent 30 minutes climbing the "treadles" and got a great workout.

I started with a moderate walk for 2 minutes with the treadles in their minimum position. Feeling comfortable, I increased the pace and bumped the incline of the treadles all the way up to their max.

I did 3:30 fast walk and then 90 second jog - keeping the treadles in the max position for the entire workout.

The jogging quickly raised my heart rate, was extremely taxing on the quads and a bit strenuous on the low back. I had to really focus on keeping my upper body upright and not slouching over to prevent low back strain. On the bright side, I felt virtuously no impact due to the up and down motion of the treadles.

The fast walking was comfortable and quite fun. It definitely felt like I was "walking through sand." The emphasis was centered on my glutes and calves.

I was a bit disappointed in the overall quality and sturdiness of the machine. The transitions between speed and treadle incline were jerky and felt a bit risky. I can only imagine how this is on the home version of the machine. I did expect a more solid product for the commercial version.

I also noticed that my workout varied whether I stepped toward the front, middle or back of the treadle. The further forward I positioned my stride, the tougher the workout.
Additionally, my stride was wider than normal to account for the separate treadles. Overall, this was a great change of pace for me. If I had access to a TreadClimber regularly, I would infuse it into my weekly cardio program for variety and most certainly use it with my clients.

Check out: for more info.

(Picture from:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Travel Workout

As I confessed exercise addict - in a completely good and healthy way, traveling this week has certainly provided many challenges in maintaining my regular regime.

Here are some tips to keep your workout going while you are on the road.

1. Change your mindset. No - you are not going to do what you normally do. You may not have your yoga mat, the same gym equipment or even space to move, but this is no excuse to NOT workout. Adjust your mindset to be ok with whatever you get in - whether it be a structured workout, walking around sightseeing or participating in regional sports activities.

2. Bring along some goodies just in case. I always travel with toe sox (for yoga in the hotel room instead of a mat,) a jump rope and a medium resistance band. That and my body weight is all I need to rock it!

3. Get creative. So, the hotel gym has no dumbbells, an old treadmill and a ballet barre. PERFECT! Do a circuit of push ups, tread sprints, barre work and tread hills. Use the bar to do standing stretches and seated ab work you normally wouldn't do.

4. Bring your ipod. Then - even if you are stuck in a tiny hotel room ... you can dance your butt off, do plyometrics and body weight exercises. What a great excuse to spend some extra time stretching!

5. Check out local fitness trends. Go to a yoga class, a spin studio or a gym wherever you are. A new environment always inspires me and reinvigorates my program.

(picture from:

Thursday, December 10, 2009


My travels take me to Finland today ...

We landed to snow and and an icy chill ...

Now, I happen to love the heat, especially humid heat ... and so do the Finnish people!

Saunas have been utilized for ages in Finland. According to, "saunas are so popular in Finland that there is approximately one sauna for every seven people in the country with most in private apartments and the balance found in summer homes, hotels, and public swimming facilities."

The same source touts that"doctors and physical fitness experts recommend the sauna as well for benefits that include relaxation, cardiovascular benefit, increased metabolic rate, improved circulation, enhanced immune system response, weight loss, and healthier clearer skin."

So, don't be shy. Try the sauna at your health club!! Go in before a yoga class to warm up, relax after a hard workout or use it on a day off to cleanse. Just be sure sip tons of water before you go in, bring water in the sauna to hydrate during and drink more after use as well.

(photo from:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cod Liver Oil

My European adventure has me contemplating the health habits of the folks over here.
There is such a different climate with food and exercise here.
Tonight I am in Kerkrade, Netherlands.
Salmon and sardines are protein centerpieces here.
If you aren't consuming enough fresh fish in your diet or want to supplement and reap the benefits of Essential Fatty Acids, try adding Cod Liver Oil into your diet.

Cod Liver Oil is exactly what is sounds like - oil derrived from the liver of cod fish.
It is high in Essential Fatty Acids EPA and DHA and vitamins A and D.

I prefer Cod Liver Oil to regular fish oil because of the vitamins A and D in it. There has been a lot of chatter on Vitamin D deficiency lately and taking Cod Liver Oil is a great way to ensure you get your "sunshine vitamin."

Cod Liver Oil, according to Wikipedia, "is widely taken to ease the pain and joint stiffness associated with arthritis, but has also been clinically proven to have a positive effect on heart,bone, and brain,as well as helping to nourish skin, hair, and nails."

I can vouch for for the effects on joint pain and the positive influence on skin, hair and nails.

I am also a huge fan of mega doses of DHA for mood stabilization and elevation. Get your DHA and feel happy!

I love Carlson Brand Cod Liver Oil Lemon Flavored Liquid.
All you need is one teaspoon and it has no "burpy" or "fishy" aftertaste.

I add it to my yogurt or morning smoothie and it adds a nice lemony essence.

You can purchase Carlson Cod Liver Oil here:

(picture from:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

German Fussball - That's soccer to us

I find myself in Germany for the next couple of days.

First in Dusseldorf and then in Schwerin.

One things is abundantly clear.

These people love Fussball ... or soccer.

And who can blame them? Sheer athleticism, endurance, speed, agility and gorgeous legs on display??

Try incorporating some of the training that soccer players use into your routine.

Add stretching, plyometrics, speed and agility work to your normal routine.

Here is a great agility drill to try (from:
Super Shuttle
1.Set a series of cones out in a cross formation. (see diagram on link)
2.Run backwards to the center cone, side step to the right cone (or your left if you are performing the drill), side step back to the centre cone still facing the same way.
3.At the center cone turn and sprint forward to the end cone. Now run back to the center cone, side step to the left, side step back to the center, then turn and sprint back to the start.

Be sure to stretch like crazy afterwards!

(picture from:

Monday, December 7, 2009

English Breakfast

In honor of my visit to London, I must pay homage to the traditional English breakfast and give you some ideas for creating a healthy version at home.

According to Wiki, the breakfast consists of:
Scrambled eggs, sausage, black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns and half a tomato. And don't forget the toast.

While completely delicious and fervently decadent, the meal pictured above is diet suicide. That is like a fat laden calorie bomb.

Try your own version of an English breakfast and still look damn good after eating it by subbing a few items. You don't HAVE to eat ALL of the items ... but, hey - use your long run or cycle as an excuse to majorly fuel up with this smorgasbord or deliciousness.

The Damn, I Look Good English Breakfast:

- 1 whole egg plus two to three egg whites scrambled (use non-stick cooking spray)
- 1 piece Canadian bacon or veggie sausage
- sauteed mushrooms and spinach (use non-stick spray and can add to the scrambled eggs)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup canned beans of your choice - seasoned with salt and pepper or mixed with pico de gallo or salsa
- half to whole tomato sliced
- 1 slice Ezekiel toast - dry (optional)
- 1/4 to 1/2 sweet potato grated and cooked in non-stick spray seasoned with salt and pepper (optional)

(photo from:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oldie but look damn goodie Sunday-Alpha Maximum

Smoother, softer, clearer, more radiant skin NATURALLY. Locally (Reno, NV) and independently made Alpha Maximum:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Uth Pluthi - arm and core strength

It is not impossible to do this pose - so don't even go there!!

Uth Pluthi is an amazing yoga pose to add into your fitness routine.

It simultaneously strengthens and tones the arms and core, while making the practioner stay calm and focused in a challenging position.

Pictured above, you fold your legs into lotus (or half lotus or just cross legged) and place your hands flat on the ground a little forward of your hips. Spread your fingers wide and press your entire palm into the ground.

Depress your shoulders, tighten your core, pull your navel into your spine and lift your thighs, shins and feet upwards. Try holding this for five breaths.

Then lower down and take five breaths.

Repeat five times, taking more rest in between lifts if needed.

Work up to holding uth pluthi for 10 full breaths.

Your abs and arms will be ripped and thank you for it.

(photo from:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Better Botanicals

There are several beauty lines out there based on the ancient science of Ayurveda. I'm sure we can all think of the giant company that spawned eponymous salons and continues to grow.
Flying under the radar is a smaller line called Better Botanicals.

Better Botanicals is an HERBAL line and most products are manufactured under an "ayurvedic license." "Herbal" has become a beauty buzz word, but Better Botanicals actually IS. There products contain 15% - 100% herbal content for the highest efficacy possible. No smoke and mirrors here. These are all natural products that use the power of herbs to change your skin and hair.

My Better Botanical obsession right now is their Dandelion Moisturizer. Formulated for normal to dry skin, I use this as a winter moisturizer on my face, but use it all year long on my hands. It has a light, fresh dandelion scent and is rich and hydrating without being greasy. Adore!

Better Botanicals is having a Cyberweek special - BOGO 50% on body products. Shop here:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Full Moon Rest Day

Today is a full moon day.

It is traditional in Ashtanga yoga to rest on new and full moons. I have always relished these opportunities as a day off to regenerate from my hard work outs and yoga practice.
If I have to teach class on full or new moon days, I often make it a restorative practice.
But, why do we take the full and new moons off??

There is a great explanation at which I have paraphrased below:

The human body is about 70% water and water is affected by the gravitational pull exerted by the relative position of the sun and moon.

During the full moon, our energy is at it's strongest point. Conversely, during new moon our energy is more mellow and not suited for vigorous activity.

Yoga practitioners are very tuned into to the energetic forces of the universe, making both full and new moons undesirable practice days.

So, indulge in the tradition of taking rest on these days. The regenerative effect on your body will be noticed immediately. Even just the discipline of being able to step back from routine and take rest is good practice of unattachment. Get a massage, take a hot bath and take the time to cook a nourishing meal.

Enjoy the full moon day today!

(photo from:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shakti Activewear

I have a new obsession.

Shakti Activewear.

Finding comfortable, flattering yoga, cycling or workout clothes that look great and function well can be challenging.

How about the ultimate struggle of finding yoga shorts that don't ride up during a vigorous practice. Look no further than Shakti Activewear.

Their roll down and side tie shorts (pictured above) are where it's at if you are looking for a pair of shorts to add into your yoga wardrobe. Shorts are often necessary as advanced postures are added requiring bare legs and arms to achieve positions.

Be sure to check out their great collection of after yoga wear as well.
Loving the new "belt dress" pictured above.
How fabulous to throw on after a sweaty workout ... or to wear out for a casual evening. Pair it with jeans or leggings in cold weather.

(pictures from: